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TV Series Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) Disney+ *Spoiler Section*

While I do consider myself a Star Wars fan my fandom is limited to the live action shows and movies. Even though I've watched almost all of The Clone Wars animated series I never really connected with the ongoing stories of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Though I did like the first prequel, The Phantom Menace , the two subsequent prequels I've always found to be difficult watches. Largely because we get too much in the way of Jedi. They no longer feel special or formidable. In fact with so many youngling Jedi, in addition to all the adult Jedi, being a Jedi seems more like a trade that anyone could study. I mention all of this to say, as much as I do like Ewan McGregor, a series or movie about Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn't anything I was hoping to see but it's live action Star Wars so of course I'm going to watch.  Obi-Wan Kenobi is set a few years after the  last prequel, Revenge of the Sith . Obi-Wan, now going by the name Ben, has made something of a despondent l

A.I. Can Now Create Art Based Upon Text Prompts - DALL-E 2 and CrAIyon (Formerly DALL-E Mini)

"a painting of a fox sitting in a field at sunrise in the style of Claude Monet” Image by DALL-E 2, OpenAI.com One thing people have often said is that machines will never replace creative artists because they lack the imagination and emotion required to create anything meaningful. A.I. technology is now good enough to work as writing assistants, including sites like Jasper and Rytr , where you simply tell the A.I. what you want to write about and it'll produce a complete article on that subject. The article may not be perfect but it can sure save you a lot of time. DALL-E 2: Realistic images and art from a description in natural language. With the release of DALL-E 2 there is now an A.I. that can produce realistic (or artistically styled) images based entirely on text prompts in seconds. We're not just talking about collaging a few images together here either. DALL-E 2 can create images where everything looks fairly seamless and purposefully included. Rather than me try

Movie Review: Top Gun Maverick *Spoiler Free*

I must admit I was expecting Top Gun Maverick to lean a lot more on nostalgia. While it has plenty of callbacks to the original movie, it does feel like its own thing with a new story and cast of characters. That said, the events of the first film drive (or is that fly) a big part of the character arcs, as Maverick (Tom Cruise) has to face the death of his wingman, Goose, all over again with Goose's son, Rooster (Miles Teller) (I'm using everyone's call sign because their actual character names aren't spoken out loud enough for me to remember them), who, somewhat surprisingly, isn't holding a grudge for his father's fate. Top Gun Maverick picks up with Maverick no longer in the Top Gun team. Instead he's a test pilot for experimental fighters being developed by the Navy/Airforce/US Government? (I'm not sure because technically Maverick is a Navy fighter pilot - which he says in the film, he flies for the Navy). However he is recalled to the Top Gun team

Movie Review: Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (2022 Disney+) *Spoiler Free*

Despite being an animator I don''t tend to watch a lot of animation outside of superhero related animated movies and the classic WB cartoons I watched as a kid. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers caught my eye purely for one joke in the trailer that makes note of Dale's CGI makeover. Aside from it being a funny, throw away moment, I thought it was interesting that this movie mixes live action with 2D and 3D (CGI) animation. The premise of the movie sees Chip and Dale, many years after the cancelation of their animated TV series, Rescue Rangers , getting on with their lives. Chip sells insurance, while Dale keeps his celebrity alive on the convention circuit, selling merch and signing headshots. When an old friend mysteriously goes missing Dale must reconcile differences with Chip while they race to find their buddy. Invariably this movie gets the Who Framed Roger Rabbit comparison (or Space Jam 2 ) and, while Chip 'n Dale does make an effort to blend its 2D animation wit

TV Series Review: Moon Knight (2022) Disney+ *Very Minor Spoilers*

I've never read a Moon Knight comic and barely knew who Moon Knight was (other than he's sometimes thought of as Marvel's 'Batman like' character) before the Disney+ Moon Knight Series was announced. Of all the Marvel series released to date this was one that I had little to no anticipation for. I mean, of course, I was always going to watch it since it's MCU cannon, but it's the first series where I had no investment in any of the lead characters. Over the six episodes I was never that excited to see what happens next each time until, maybe the end of episode four. Then I did kind of become much more invested in the final two episodes. Episode six, the finale, ended with me thinking ' most disappointing ending of a series so far ' and then, like a magic trick, the post credit scene kicked in and turned everything around into an extremely satisfying conclusion with a big hint that there's easily a season two just waiting to be green lit (and I&#

70% of Voters Didn't Vote for a Labor Government - Misrepresenting a Statistic | Australian Federal Election 2022

Anthony Albanese - Australia's 31st Prime Minister In the aftermath of the Australian Federal Election, in which the Australian Labor Party won the right to govern, taking over from the Liberal/National party coalition, one of the most misrepresented statistics I have seen bandied around is: 70% of voters did not vote for a Labor Government. At a surface level that's true give or take a percentage point depending on the final count of the primary votes (primary vote being every voter's first choice in our preferential voting system). However the people who are holding this statement up (notably the so-called 'Freedom Parties') for validation of the claim that the majority of Australians don't want a Labor government are grossly misrepresenting the Australian people. Using myself as an example, I put The Greens as my first choice, knowing full well they have next to no chance of forming a government. I'm most aligned with The Greens in terms of their polic

Return to Bukirk Glamping - Camping and Now 'Cooping' In Style - Clare Valley, South Australia

Bukirk Glamping, Clare Valley, South Australia.  One of my favorite getaways in South Australia is Bukirk Glamping in the Clare Valley. So much so that this visit was the second time my partner, Enigma, has gifted us a stay there on my birthday, and our third stay overall. We both love it and always leave wishing we could stay longer. Despite the planet having a 'Mostly Closed' sign on it for most of 2020 and 2021 it doesn't seem to have slowed business owner and host, Alison 'Chook' Meany down much at all. All her plans for expansion since we were last there in 2018 have all been realised and then some. If you're not familiar with 'glamping' think of it as kind of like camping for people who don't like the inconveniences of camping, particularly having limited access to power points and a proper bathroom.  Inside the Wyandotte Tent. Thoughtful details like this 'Welcome Back' by Alison really help make us feel like we're coming home, m

Movie Review: Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness (2022) *No Spoilers*

After all the hype for this movie, and the huge success of Spider-man No Way Home , which featured Doctor Strange, everybody's expectations of Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness are likely much higher than what it actually delivers. So much so that I feel it's one of those installments in the MCU that will probably get better over time, with rewatches, and a better understanding of how it fits into the bigger MCU story in hindsight. Somewhere along the lines of an Ironman 2 , Thor The Dark World , or even the first Doctor Strange , none of which are bad movies, they're just not doing much to push the bigger MCU story forward. I did enjoy The Multiverse of Madness. There's lots of great action, some nice cameos that lasted longer than I was led to believe, and plenty of multiverse building in terms of what kinds of alternate universes are possible (apparently animated is possible - Avengers/Space Jam style movie... anyone?). The trouble is, while this movie tra

A Practical History of How The New World Order is a Global Cycle and Where We Are Now According to Ray Dalio

Still from Animation, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order by Ray Dalio When you hear the term 'The New World Order' which is somewhat interchangeable these days with 'The Great Reset' your mind may tend to wander to global conspiracy theories and The World Economic Forum (who I've previously established as so evil they don't even hide what they're doing). While I don't put much stock in what people think the WEF is doing (as opposed to what it actually is doing) there is such a thing as 'The New World Order' that can be demonstrated as a reoccurring construct of change throughout history. Ray Dalio , the founder, co-Chief Investment Officer and co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates , which is a global macro investment firm and is the world’s largest hedge fund, is also  connected to the WEF (so must be up to no good), has written a book,  Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order  (Amazon Affiliate Link), in which he

The World Economic Forum, Globalization, Bringing People Together - TET Rambling on World Issues

Julie Bishop, Member of Parliament of Australia during the Session "Opening Plenary: Globalization 4.0" at the World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2018. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell Did you know that you can join The World Economic Forum ? True. You don't have to be a billionaire, CEO of a corporation, or even a high level member of your government. You can sign up for free on the WEF website and be kept up to date with what this mega evil, mustache twirling, elite organization is doing. If you want to keep an even closer eye, and maybe even have some input into what the WEF is doing in your part of the world, they have some very affordable paid subscriptions (which you can even trial, free for 30 days - imagine... a whole month free of keeping your beady little eye on this very shady organization that wants to control what toilet paper you buy... probably? #notsponsored). While much of the high level partner/mem

Artificial Intelligence, Chat Bots, and Sentient Machines - Where is my Robot Companion?

As fascinating and exciting as the world of robotics is companies like Boston Dynamics , Disney Imagineering , and Engineered Arts (which I wrote about their very human-like robot, Ameca , in my previous post ), have demonstrated it's very possible to create human like robots. That is, something along the lines of C3-PO from Star Wars , or Sonny from iRobot . Arguably, what isn't possible at this time, is creating a sentient robot i.e. something that can think for itself, develop its own ideas, and even have emotions.  I say 'arguably' because being 'sentient' is a somewhat relative term. If we're talking the equivalent of human sentience then current robots and artificial intelligences (A.I.) are a long way off. However, we can create robots that are capable of learning on their own.  You could, conceivably create a robot that starts out following its programming then, over time, learns behaviors and problem solving in ways never conceived by its creator

Engineered Arts Ameca Robot - Has Anyone Checked for a Hidden, Red Chest Light?

Engineered Arts, Ameca Robot. I mean, it doesn't look out of place in an apocalyptic wasteland, right? It's been a while since I checked in to see how our robot overlords are coming along. While Engineered Arts Ameca Robot is not new by this point I haven't yet written about it in the context of what happens once they attach laser guns to it and teach it to say "Dead or Alive, you're coming with me." While Ameca may look the part in photos, fortunately it can't actually walk... yet. However from the waste up it has very natural, human like movement, most impressively with its extremely natural human face. See it in action in the video below. Ameca is built as an Artificial Intelligence, Human/Robot learning platform and, while it does contain 'intelligent' systems to control its various functional body parts, it doesn't contain any kind of true A.I. that would make it sentient. Engineered Arts are leaving it up to Universities and other A.I.

Looking for a Conspiracy Starter? Try The Conspiracy Theory Chart (2021) by Abbie Richards

Abbie Richards - creator of The Conspiracy Chart. I've never heard of Abbie Richards until today, while I was trawling the internet for something to post to this blog. She claims to be professionally obsessed with TikTok, a mis and disinformation researcher, and a research fellow at @TheARConsortium but she may just be an A.I. bot programmed by the far left to annoy right wing keyboard warriors, probably? Anyway Abbie produced an updated version of her Conspiracy Theory Chart to reflect more recent thinking (up until November 23, 2021 at least). Whether or not you believe anything listed to be a conspiracy or 'truth that will come out as more people wake up' the chart is a great starting point for anyone investigating 'new, enlightened thinking' with dubious connection to actual facts to draw their conclusions. Conspiracy theories are everywhere and people don't understand how harmful they are. I made the original Conspiracy Chart over a year ago. An update was

The United States Hypocrisy Doesn't Make it Okay to Support Russia Bombing Civilians

Probably like me you've been keeping an eye on the war in Ukraine. No doubt you're aware of the hypocrisy of the United States culminating this week with Joe Biden's gaffe:  Joe Biden says ‘butcher’ Vladimir Putin ‘cannot remain in power’ . Anyone who's followed even recent history of this millennia knows that the United States are in the business of 'war', often taking on the role of 'world police' to protect its interests. It's no secret that civilians have often been caught up in these conflicts 'accidentally'. Particularly if the US has been taken to task over these deaths. Which one could then make the case that Russia is deliberately targeting civilians, as opposed to 'accidentally' targeting them. That aside, I've seen a few ridiculous responses to America's hypocrisy with random comments along the lines of: The U.S.A. are hypocrites. I support Russia! Oh really? You support deliberate targeting of civilians? I presume

TV Series Review: Reacher (2022) - Amazon Prime *Possible Minor Spoilers*

I have not read the Reacher books. My interest in Amazon Prime's original series, Reacher , was purely based on the lead actor, Alan Ritchson, who I first came across watching Netflix's superhero show, Titans  (which I really enjoyed). My understanding of the books is limited to Alan being a better representation of the character's physical size than depicted in the Tom Cruise movie ... and, of course, he's some kind of bad ass. After hearing good things from different sources about the show I decided to give it a watch to see if Alan's decision to leave Titans for Reacher was a good move. Turns out, it definitely was, with the first season being much better than I expected. I thought it would be all action but the series also takes time to develop some of its lead characters too. Plotwise, Reacher finds himself in a small, rural town on some personal business. It's not long before he is identified as a possible murder suspect and arrested in dramatic fashion. F

Movie Review: The Batman (2022) *Very Minor Spoilers*

When I first heard that director, Matt Reeves wanted to focus more on the 'world's greatest detective' aspect of Batman a little part of me went 'finally!' The Batman  is a complete reimagining of Batman and his rogues gallery, unrelated to any other Batman or DCEU film released thus far. Basically it's film one in this continuity. Robert Pattinson is Batman/Bruce Wayne in his second year of donning the cape and cowl. Batman's reputation is such that criminals can never be sure if he might just appear out of the shadows to deliver his style of 'vengeance' on crime. Meanwhile, high profile murders begin to occur around Gotham city by a killer who leaves calling cards for the Batman containing riddles. As the stakes get higher Batman and Detective, Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) work together to track down the Riddler (Paul Dano). Along the way they cross paths with Cat Woman (ZoĆ« Kravitz) and the Penguin (Colin Farrell). Overall this is ever

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